Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fiesta Pub & Restaurant

Fiesta Pub & Restaurant
3rd Floor, Chester House
Koinange Street

I had a loose Friday just a week ago and I was feeling rather parched. Since I did not feel like going to my favorite haunts, I decided to try a new joint where I will not be forced to have polite conversation with acquaintances, a place I can chill out with my thoughts.

I picked on Fiesta since it is within the CBD and so, close walking distance for me. The interior is spacious with a separate area for dining, shielded away from the more livelier part of the place, the bar. I will not talk about food since I was not there to have dinner.

I settled my self on a bar stool and desperately tried to catch the barman's eyes. Took several attempts but finally he acknowledged my presence and came over. Ordered my usual double Viceroy on rocks, which was dully served. As time went by I was to discover that the service leaves a lot to be desired and many many curses stuck in your head.

I settled in to asses, nice decor, very inviting couches all over the place, good lighting, good music....in general a very classy place.

They have a live band which plays some really cool jazz, though I had to sit through about 30 minutes of them tuning up. But the music was great. Lets see what else? Oh yeah, the pricing. A double of Viceroy was at 300 bob soooo, yeah. I also had two samosas which were ok, though they could use a bit more pepper. A samosa was going for 50 bob. The food at the next table also looked very inviting.

The washrooms,I had issue with. They have two washrooms, one is the kind you reach the door and decide you really did not neeeed to go. The other you wonder why they did not provide reading material. Maybe one is still work in progress but that needs to be sorted out.

Overall, I liked the place, mostly because it is cozy, and you can have a conversation without shouting your throat hoarse. And the jazz music. If you have been there, please share your experience.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Ethiopian Food

Want to try Ethiopian food?

Simple. Affordable. Accesible. Good food. Thats Habesha for you.

Habesha is an Ethiopian restaurant that is located along Argwings Kodhek road past Yaya. I have not had the pleasure of eating out at their other two restaurants but the one in Hurlingham is one of my favourites.

When you go to habesha you feel like you are at home. You can either opt to sit outside surrounded by REAL plants unlike those restaurants that opt to have plastic plants for decor. It has a homely feel to it and i always feel comfortable and relaxed when am there.During the day its not so busy but from 6pm people go there for drinks or food. Even on a Monday you will be suprised to find the place is fully packed. On weekends parking is a problem and one is forced to park oustside on the side of argwings kodhek road. Access by public transport is trouble-free as you just board a matatu number 46 and alight at the gate. From town if there is no traffic jam it will take about ten minutes to get there.

When you go through the gates you will tell what type of clientele that frequents the place. Prado’s, Toureg’s, Forester’s, Landcruisers…and of the course the corolla’s. If you are one to judge a place by the look of things you will surely turn back and leave. What a big mistake you will make!

Habesha is probably one of the few classy but very affordable restaurants in Nairobi. You look at their menu and its starts from as low as Kshs. 200. They have different types of food but only one caters for vegetarians.The food is served in a large platter, which is a wide round tray that is enough for two or three people. Ethiopian food usually consists of various spicy meat sauces, served with the traditional injera (Ethiopian flat bread) and shiro. Shiro is roasted and powdered chick peas. There are vegetables served with some dishes and probably the only ones that are not hot and spicy.

I love their coffee. Its served in a traditional way with the scent of hitting you on the face. One of the waiters informed me that to them taking coffee is sacred. Its said that coffe originated in Ethiopia.

They also have Ethiopian wine, which has honey. At first you may not like it but after a few sips you will be asking for more.If you just want to unwind after a hard day’s work or just hang out with your friends Habesha is the place to be. If you are unlucky to find Mr. Tolcha Gonfa, the owner, surrounded by his friends near the fire place, ask the waiters to bring you a jiko because outside can get pretty cold at times.
Ever seen a cat that looks like an elephant dwarf? The cat in Habesha is so BIG!! THe first tyme i saw it i was ins hock. What do they serve it? Oh and it does not understand English in case you start calling it pusss......
All I can say is if you haven’t been to Habesha, you better rush there now!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sarova Panafric

Place: Panafric Hotel – Flame Tree Restaurant
Ambiance: Cozy, Hotelish
Service: Friendly, Warm

Monday was supposed to just be coffee time for me and my beau but after receiving HORRIBLE service from “The Mug” I needed to just change venues. I can’t handle bad service. I refuse to… so stay away from The Mug. He suggested Panafric, and I was so willing to go since I had not been there in eons. I pretty much could not remember the place.

The restaurant was not at all packed. A few tourists and some people having drinks while watching the Africa cup of nations. The menu exhibited a range as far as food was concerned while the prices were to be expected from a hotel. Quite reasonable if I was asked actually.

We settled for the platter [chicken, pork, sea food .. et al]… it was to die for. Like seriously…. I’m not a fan of sea food as such but I was pleasantly surprised.
After the dinner, I had a cocktail – The Deep also commonly known as a Blue Muthafuka. That drink made the trip worthwhile! [I know I had said I was going to quite drinking in 2008, but you know what happens to those resolutions. I fell off that wagon and I don’t think there is hope of ever getting back on].

One of the reasons why I love hotels and their restaurants unlike other places is because there is no pressure whatsoever to leave. You can slowly take your drink, talk and just enjoy being, either alone or together. And that is exactly what we did. We were. Together. But this is not a blog post about that. Its about Panafric. Which made for a pleasant date.

Soda: Kshs. 120
Double Viceroy: Kshs 350
Platter: Kshs. 1,250